Why the Wizards Should Take Lessons From the Bucks

Last season, the Milwaukee Bucks shocked the basketball world and advanced to a game seven versus the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the playoffs. Even more surprising is that the Bucks were playing without their best player, Andrew Bogut.

It was quite the turnaround for Milwaukee. Just a few months earlier, they were a team without an identity. Then they landed Brandon Jennings with the tenth pick, and their future changed completely.

And while some teams are content making the playoffs and selling tickets, the Bucks have actively added pieces to their roster to make them a formidable force in the Eastern Conference. In addition to re-signing John Salmons, here are Milwaukee’s additions this offseason:

  • Corey Maggette
  • Chris Douglas-Roberts
  • Larry Sanders (15th pick in draft)
  • Drew Gooden

The Bucks also have two second-round picks, Tiny Gallon and Darrington Hobson, that could make the team. And as for their possible free agent losses? Try Luke Ridnour, Kurt Thomas, Royal Ivey, Primoz Brezec, and Jerry Stackhouse. Not exactly an all-star lineup.

But how does this relate to the Wizards? Allow me to explain.

Milwaukee’s recent success is a blueprint for squads trying to return to the postseason. It starts out with a little luck, like grabbing Jennings at pick ten, and the Wizards were already lucky this summer by moving up to pick one to get John Wall.

The next step? Find the Robin to play with Batman. Milwaukee’s Robin is Andrew Bogut, a former first pick who finally came out of his shell last season and made the All-NBA Third Team.

Washington doesn’t have a Robin yet. Robin needs to be a youngster to go with John Wall, so Gilbert Arenas doesn’t fit the bill. Still, the Wizards have plenty of youth available: JaVale McGee, Trevor Booker, Andray Blatche, Kevin Seraphin, Yi Jianlian, etc., etc. If one of those guys emerges, then problem solved. If not, D.C. doesn’t figure to be a good team next year anyway. They could end up with a top-five pick, and add the number two option there.

Milwaukee has surrounded their dastardly duo with proven veterans. And not just average Joes. Maggette, Salmons, and Redd can all score 20 points a game. Gooden is a great all-around player. Plus, the Bucks still have other young guys like Larry Sanders and Chris Douglas Roberts who figure into the long-term plans of the team.

So what am I suggesting? That the Wizards should abandon the youth movement already? No, that’s not it. I want the youngsters to wade through an NBA season and gain some valuable experience. But beyond 2011, when more talented youth is in place, why not considering Milwaukee’s way of doing things? All we hear about is Oklahoma City’s success, but the Bucks are going to be players in the East for years to come. And we already have veterans in place that can score the ball, like Gilbert Arenas, Kirk Hinrich, and Al Thonton.

Just something to think about.

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Tags: Al Thornton Andray Blatche Andrew Bogut Basketball Brandon Jennings Chris Douglas-roberts Corey Maggette Javale Mcgee John Salmons John Wall Kevin Seraphin Kirk Hinrich Milwaukee Bucks Nba Nba Draft Trevor Booker Washington Wizards Yi Jianlian

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